Montgomery is back with her long-awaited sophomore EP ‘Opal 67’

Montgomery musician

Montgomery is the kind of artist that can blow you away, spend 6 years working on her next EP then as soon as it’s out, you’re immediately all ears.

I highly recommend taking the time to listen to Opal 67 in full, so you can appreciate the dreamy soundscape that is guaranteed to pull on your heartstrings.

I caught up with this delight of a human being and discussed her inspiration and her past.

MONTGOMERY: Hello. How are you?

HAPPY: Oh, hello. I’m good, how are you?

MONTGOMERY: Good. Thanks for doing this. Thanks for finding the time.

HAPPY: Of course, We’ve been a fan of you for a while.

MONTGOMERY: Oh, likewise, I think you guys supported me like way back in the day. So when Joseph was like, ‘Who do you want to reach out to?’ I was like, ‘Happy mag.’

HAPPY: Ahh that’s so great.

MONTGOMERY: I’m glad that you guys found the time. It’s really cool.

HAPPY: Yeah, no, it’s awesome. I’m a big fan. I love the music you make.


HAPPY: Listening to this new EP, I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s so easy to listen to.’

MONTGOMERY: Oh, thank you. That’s really nice.

HAPPY: Thank you. Thanks for making it.

MONTGOMERY: Took me long enough. So…

HAPPY: It gets like that. It’s cool.

MONTGOMERY: Yeah, it is.

HAPPY: What has life looked like since you’ve released it? It’s been like a month now, I guess?

MONTGOMERY: A few weeks. Yeah, I think like two weeks. I don’t know. I mean, I’m losing track. There is a bit going on, but I think at the moment, just trying to get things ready for the EP launch because I haven’t played in a while. It’s been like more than a year since I’ve headlined. So that’s really fun, just like designing the set for it, which is good. Usually, I play by myself, but I’m playing with Hamish, who did some production on the EP as well. So fun working with him for the set. It’s been a good reception of the EP, I think because it’s taken me so long to do it. So I feel like the people that stayed on are waiting for it. They’ve been really nice, really responsive.

HAPPY: That’s really good. That’ll be super different up being by yourself on stage now. Very cool. Have you played much with others on stage?

MONTGOMERY: I did… like a band or a different project?

HAPPY: A band or any projects or anything.

MONTGOMERY: I did, I used to actually sing in like a pop-punk band back in the day. So that was with the band and I was just singing, but I hated that. I was so uncomfortable in that band. I definitely need instruments and I need to be doing something other than just singing. But when I did the Japanese Wallpaper tour in 2019, I had a band, so I had Hamish and Jackson playing drums. That was really cool. That was big, and I don’t think having drums, live drums suited my music that much. So maybe something I revisit later on, but I kind of like just the duo and having more electronic samples and stuff.


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HAPPY: Oh, totally. I mean, they sound so great. Alright, I mean, I have a couple of questions for you. So you used to hide your face right?

MONTGOMERY: Yeah, yeah. It was like a whole mystery behind it that we were going for.

HAPPY: What’s changed with that? Obviously, in your press pictures, I could see you.

MONTGOMERY: I think for the first EP, I was working with a label and it was kind of proposed that I would be not putting my face to it. And I was really young, so that was really appealing to me because I was like, quite insecure, and I thought having just the focus on my music would be really good rather than what I look like or who I was, and I could just keep that completely separate while I kind of ease into the industry. But I think it would have been weird if… I because it took me so long to release new music, it would be weird if I came out and I was still like, ‘Who am I?’ So I was like, I need to give an audience something more.

And I’ve grown up. And I’m not super self-conscious anymore, and I think it’s like… especially in this day and age where engagement is so important, it’s really hard to engage with the audience when you’re like removing yourself completely. So it kind of felt just like the next progression, the next step or whatever. It’s definitely been better, but I think having the mystery was really important back then and it did kind of drum up interest, which was the point.

HAPPY: So it made you feel more comfortable at the time as well.

MONTGOMERY: Totally. Yeah, I would do it forever if I could, but I just think it’s not really realistic.


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HAPPY: Yeah, OK, that’s interesting. Maybe in the future, if you get tired of having your face out there, you can just go back.

MONTGOMERY: Do a Daft Punk thing, just wear a huge mask. Yeah, that would be awesome.

HAPPY: Haha exactly. So your music is so charming. And I think especially just your lyrics, it’s all very relatable. It was phrased perfectly in your press release, actually, that it was the music that you would want to see or hear in a coming of age film. It’s like ‘yes’.

MONTGOMERY: Yes, that’s cool. Yeah.

HAPPY: I think because the music speaks to people so intimately, I guess I wanted to know a little bit about your fans. A lot of people feel like their fans think they know the people that they’re looking up to. What are your…

MONTGOMERY: Yeah, I think like a lot of the fans that engage with me, I feel like we have a really personal connection. As corny as that sounds, but I do mean that genuinely. And one of them who lives in Mexico, they’ll send me poetry. And I think it’s because my honesty in my writing has kind of inspired them to be honest with me, and just send me their own writing, so things like that have been really nice, but it’s definitely just wanting to inspire people to be honest and open with their emotions and like as corny as it can be. So it’s important, yeah.

HAPPY: That’s alright, corny is nice. I like it.

MONTGOMERY: I love corny.

HAPPY: That’s so good to hear. Obviously, you’ve been playing music forever. And I read that it was largely because you just had the option of an electric organ and a keyboard as a kid, you didn’t get the Gameboy that you wanted. Did you ever get your hands on that Gameboy?

MONTGOMERY: I did, but I bought it second hand off eBay, and I probably played it for like, a year. I’m really grateful that my parents were kind of like, ‘This is what your hobby is. Do this rather than like the normal stuff’. Well, it’s still normal to learn an instrument when you’re young. But they were very like, ‘This is what you spend time doing, not video games’, which I think obviously shaped me as I am now.


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HAPPY: Yeah, yeah. Did you ever start more frequently playing video games?

MONTGOMERY: Kind of. I got a GameCube when I was like 17, and that was like life-changing. So that was really cool. But I had like a little studio set up. I was still living at home at 17 and I had a studio set up in the garage and I had my Gameboy… sorry, my GameCube like next to my desk with a TV. So like all my studio gear, my GameCube, and when I’d be stuck, I just play some Mario Kart and just like cruise around playing Mario Kart, because it’s such like… have you… like playing Mario Kart or any driving game is quite relaxing. Just like focusing on racing. So I think I did go pretty heavy into Mario Kart at that time, but I’m still not like a super gamer girl. Never really got into it.

HAPPY: That’s fair. Me neither. It takes up a lot of time. You know?

MONTGOMERY: It does. It really does.

HAPPY: Ok, so your track on the EP Two Minds, I just love those big, eighties kind of echoing drums that you’ve got. Oh my God. I wanted to know if you were listening to anything that was inspiring you at the time when you wrote it, or if…

MONTGOMERY: The guitar, actually. So the drums are just like every song that I have listened to. They’re all like gated reverb snares and stuff. So that’s always an inspiration. But the guitars, actually, I made that midi guitar sound back in, like 2013. Do you know the Rihanna song… I need to find it. It’s off an older album. I’m going to quickly find it because I thought that it was the best guitar tone and… one second. Unapologetic. Yes, this one. Love Without Tragedy.

HAPPY: Oh, yes!

MONTGOMERY: Did you hear it?

HAPPY: Of course!

MONTGOMERY: It’s just like such a classic tone. I was like, ‘I want that guitar sound’, so I made it. And I think I tried to put it in songs like over the years, and no song saw the light of day until Two Minds. And then that guitar tune is also used in Postcard. So I kind of just wanted this consistent sound throughout the EP but for Two Minds, I don’t think there was anything specific other than that song that really inspired it.

HAPPY: Haha that’s awesome. It is very consistent through the EP… The EP is a whole piece. You know, the songs, they really stand out…

MONTGOMERY: That’s what I was going for, yeah.

HAPPY: Yeah, it’s something that I would recommend to others, and I certainly just sat down like, ‘I’m listening to all of this now.’

MONTGOMERY: No way. That’s so good. That’s what I want.

HAPPY: Yes, you nailed it. The only other question I have for you is, you know you mentioned that you’re going to be out playing live shows. Yeah, what’s on the cards for this year?

MONTGOMERY: Well, I’ve got the EP launch in March on the 17th and I’ve got a tour coming up, but it’s a support tour. It hasn’t been announced yet, so I don’t know if I can say who it’s with, but that will be really fun because I haven’t toured since 2019, so I’m really looking forward to that. But other than that, that’s all I have planned at the moment.

HAPPY: Amazing! That’s all so exciting. Well, I hope to see you live soon.

MONTGOMERY: Yes! I am very excited. You’re in Sydney, aren’t you?

HAPPY: I am. Yes, yes.

MONTGOMERY: Hopefully, I’ll be out there soon.


Opal 67 is available on all streaming services now.

Interviewed by Chloe Maddren.

Photos supplied.